Grants bring nutritious meals to children in need

Erin Chandler | Oct 04, 2022
Kiwanians scoop pasta and cheese powder into mac and cheese packets for distribution

Grants from the Kiwanis Children’s Fund are helping clubs serve the Kiwanis cause of health and nutrition by ensuring that children in their communities have enough to eat. Persistent hunger and malnutrition negatively impact children’s physical, cognitive and emotional development. Kids who are hungry can’t concentrate in school and may struggle to meet their full potential. During a time when many are struggling, these clubs are working harder than ever to make sure that children and families have access to food when they need it most — on weekends, holidays and school breaks.  
The Kiwanis Children’s Fund makes grants that improve the lives of children around the world. We do this by identifying the projects that create a continuum of impact in a child’s life — one that spans their entire childhood and sets them up for a bright future. By funding projects that target the Kiwanis causes of health and nutrition, education and literacy, and youth leadership development, whether through a Kiwanis Club’s local service project or through a club’s partner, the Children’s Fund ensures that its grantmaking has the greatest possible impact.  
If you are interested in extending your and your club’s impact beyond your community by giving to the Children’s Fund or applying for a club grant, visit the Kiwanis Children’s Fund page.  
A reason to give thanks  
The Kiwanis Club of the Poconos Daybreak in Pennsylvania will continue to purchase and distribute Thanksgiving meals to families of local elementary school students thanks to a club grant from the Kiwanis Children’s Fund. In a community where 30% of residents live below the poverty level, club members will use a combination of grant funds, donations and their own money to buy food, which club members then package and distribute. Altogether, the club ensures that 160 families have meals for Thanksgiving.  
Chefs for the holidays  
The Kiwanis Club of Metairie Dawn Busters in Louisiana will expand its Chefs’ Annual Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners service project with the help of a Kiwanis Children’s Fund grant. In an area where the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the devastation of 2021’s Hurricane Ida have had a significant impact on the local population and economy, the club will bring professionally prepared holiday meals to about 30 families. Grant funds will pay for food prepared by the chefs of the American Culinary Federation of New Orleans and fried turkeys from the Krewe of Carrollton Carnival organization.  
Students helping each other  
A Kiwanis Children’s Fund grant will help the Kiwanis Club of Azalea City, Florida, continue to purchase food for local food-insecure students despite rising prices. According to the club, 85% of students in their community receive free breakfasts and lunches through their schools. In partnership with Feed the Need of Putnam County, Kiwanians provide bags of food for over 800 students across 14 elementary and high schools to take home over the weekend. Over 200 local teenagers help to pack the food that will sustain fellow students in their school district. You can read more about Feed the Need of Putman County on the Kiwanis news page
Nutrition in a backpack  
The Kiwanis Club of Ticonderoga, New York, has been operating its weekend and summer backpack program for 10 years. Thanks to a club grant from the Kiwanis Children’s Fund, they will continue providing nutritious, shelf-stable food from the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York to over 100 students. In total, the club distributes backpacks of food to children for 34 weekends during the school year and a week’s worth of food — plus gift certificates for milk and eggs — for eight weeks over the summer. The club hopes this additional nutrition will help prevent the physical and cognitive effects of under-nutrition over kids’ lifetimes.  
A meal for every day of the summer  
The Kiwanis Club of Marion, Illinois, is providing free lunches to local children over the summer, when schools cannot provide regular meals. In 2021, the SHINE: Summer Lunch Program provided 2,600 bagged lunches. Now, in a year when supply chain issues and inflation have increased the cost of food, a grant from the Kiwanis Children’s Fund will help the club expand its service to meet the needs of an anticipated 300 families. Three times a week from May to August, Kiwanians will prepare and distribute two lunches to each child, ensuring they have food every day.  


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